Marathon vs Social Life

Finding time to train for a marathon is tough. I don’t know about you, but I am by no means running at Olympic speeds here, so when I have an 18 mile run on my docket, I need to portion out a solid half-day to knock it out. All of my long runs tend to fall on weekends which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I don’t have to worry about it interfering with work, but a curse in that most of my family and closest friends live out of town. Since I am traveling almost every weekend, finding time to fit in my long runs has proven to be challenging.

You read A LOT about my social life on here, because I love doing fun things. If I don’t have plans, I tend to go stir crazy! Yet, I still need to run if I want to make it through my 26.2 in October without keeling over. Finding a balance between fun and serious training is difficult, but necessary.

Here some tips that I have implemented to ensure that I’m still training even on weekends where I am busy having fun:

Get a GPS Watch

I debated buying a GPS watch for years and years. I am SO glad that I finally have. A GPS watch is absolutely necessary for anyone who loves to both run and travel. I can literally run in any city now! I love that this watch tells me how far I’ve gone since I have to hit certain mile markers for each of my long runs. For example, I recently used this watch while at the beach. It’s so refreshing to run on the beach in the morning before it burns off. All I had to do was turn on my watch, run until I hit half of my distance, then turn around and run back to my hotel. Perfect!

Pack Your Running Shoes

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually a really helpful tip. If I bring my running shoes with me, I am more likely to go for a run (instead of having that last cocktail) just because I went through the effort to pack them in the first place. I hate wasting space in my bag, so I better use them if I brought them. Simple, but effective!

Plan Ahead

I love to be spontaneous. Really, I do! But, training for a marathon makes that tough. Making last minute plans is something I’m willing to give up (until October) for my own sanity. These days, I need to have my days planned out far in advance to make sure I fit everything in. I generally try to not make plans to go out the night before a long run, drinking + no sleep + 16 miles on the schedule = not happening. I can’t do it all!

Fuel Correctly

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Everyone always talks about how important it is to fuel your body correctly the night before a big race, but what about fueling correctly the night before a long run? It is just as important to eat the right foods during training as it is on the big day, so I try to be very careful to eat well(-ish) before all runs. Have you ever eaten a huge burger and fries the night before a 12 mile morning run? No? Well, take my word for it…that thing will sit in your stomach like a pound of bricks and you will NOT be comfortable. Avoid greasy, heavy foods and alcohol before long runs. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

Don’t Eat Back All Your Calories

In addition to my last point about fuel, it’s important to avoid eating back all the calories you just burned…PLUS some!. This is something I have always struggled with, and is a common issue for many marathon runners. The mentality becomes, “Well, I just ran 15 miles, so I can eat WHATEVER I WANT TODAY!” Not true. I love to go out to eat, especially when I’m traveling and visiting my friends in different cities. Running gives me an excuse to order the least healthy (but most delicious) thing on the menu. Try to resist!

Remember to Have FUN!

Don’t get so sucked into marathon training that you don’t have a social life at all. Go out with friends, travel, visit new places, try new foods, and enjoy life! When I’m visiting friends, I try to get them in on the action too. Even if they are only willing to run 3 miles with me, that’s better than nothing. It’s always more fun to run with friends than by yourself! And you know what, enjoy that occasional margarita and don’t feel bad about it. Chances are…you’ve earned it!

How do YOU balance fitness goals with your social life?

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Myrtle Beach Pt. 3 + Sugarland

Fortunately, no more scary plane crashes to report. The rest of our week at Myrtle Beach proved to be relaxing and fun!

Weather wise, we couldn’t have picked a nicer week. Not even one day of rain! The last two days were a bit windy, to the point where the sand was blowing all up in your face. On those two days we enjoyed a bit of time at the pool.

Check out this crazy perspective! Looking up from the pool deck.

Without question, one of the spots my family hits every year is Hawaiian Rumble mini golf. It’s our favorite course! Previous years have included getting caught in rainstorms, me getting escorted out by my mom (I was really young and threw a tantrum during a difficult put, give me a break), and nail biting finishes down to the last hole! This year proved no less, just fewer tantrums…by some. At the last hole my brother, Jackie, Brook, and I were all within one putt of each other. My brother won…boooo! At least we all beat Grammy. 🙂

Mr. Bunny went a little cray the last night!

Okay, now before you go judging me, thinking I’m all weird (because I know you don’t already think that) my mom has this ceramic bunny that sat untouched in the living room for about 20 years. During their recent move, my brother aptly named him Mr. Bunny and has been moving him to various locations around the house. Mr. Bunny will randomly pop up on the couch reading my mom’s kindle, sometimes he shows up in the bathroom brushing his hair, other times he’s at the dinner table with a fork in his paw, the options are limitless. He joined us on his very first family vacation and showed us what YOLO was all about.

Now I’m sure you’re way less weirded out…I don’t care. My family rules.

As luck would have it, my good friends Marcus and Lindsey were also at the beach the same week! They were staying in a house with Marcus’ family just 15 miles away at Sunset Beach.

Sunset at Sunset Beach

They graciously invited Brook and I to visit and we had an awesome time eating Mexican food, drinking margaritas, playing cornhole, and walking the pier. Check it out, someone caught a shark!

They have the same facial expression.

Speaking of Marcus and Lindsey, remember how I failed at taking pictures the weekend of their wedding? Well, their photographer’s pictures are posted now! Check it out:

Pretty bridesmaids

Goofy groomsmen

Fave!

All pictures were taken by Essential Sunshine Photography. You can see the rest: here.

It was great to see them this past week!

So, anyway, Brook and I decided that we weren’t quite ready for our vacation to end. We had one more day to utilize before heading back to work and we were determined to make the most of it! We found out that Brook’s favorite band, Sugarland, was playing at Jiffy Lube Live on Sunday night. So we found last minute tickets and Brook made the 5 hour drive up to northern VA (and I made the less impressive 45 minute drive).

None of my concert pictures really turned out (do they ever?) but the show was awesome! Super high energy the whole time. I didn’t know too many of the words, but Brook knew them all…die-hard much? The highlight for me was when they busted out a Matt Nathanson cover! He’s one of my favorite artists and I was caught off guard. They rocked it! Jennifer Nettles has an amazing voice, and she was sporting a cute little baby bump too.

Another amazing feat? We got out of the parking lot in less than an hour! Which was great considering Brook needed to drive 5 hours home. Crazy woman. Impromptu concert, SUCCESS!

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?

PS. This post is so random. I kinda love it!

MB Vacay Pt. 2: The Plane Crash

Confused by the title of this post? Wondering if it’s a joke? Well, it’s not. I saw a plane crash yesterday.

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We were enjoying a beautiful day on the beach, just like everyday. Brook and I had just returned from a walk, and everyone was hanging out under my family’s tent. All of a sudden, my brother-in-law, Robert says, “Isn’t that plane flying too low?”

I looked up and it all happened so fast. One of those airplanes that carry a banner for the beachwear stores took a nose dive right into the ocean close to the shore. We couldn’t even believe what we saw, my mom actually said, “Is this real?” It was just so wild.

People and lifeguards alike went sprinting into the ocean. I saw the pilot emerge from the plane and wave his arms for help. The lifeguards got to him and pulled him to shore. The tail of the plane bobbed for a few minutes before going under.

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That’s the tail of the plane in the ocean.

Emergency response then showed up, and spent the majority of yesterday blocking that section of the beach off. They still haven’t gotten the plane out of the ocean yet, and to be honest I’m not sure how they plan to do it.

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It was crazy to witness something like that, but at the same time I feel very fortunate that no one was hurt. I’m happy the pilot survived and was okay. I’m also thankful that he landed off shore rather than on the beach considering so many people could have been hurt. Craziest thing I’ve ever witnessed.

Anyway on to happier things. Besides that, the trip has been enjoyable. Last night we went to Liberty Brewery and Steakhouse. I got the largest rack of ribs I’ve ever seen in my life. They were awesome though!

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We’ve also been to Fat Tuesday for drinks a few times. It’s awesome now that everyone is 21 and we can all (well except my sister because she’s pregnant) go out for drinks together. My mom is obsessed with the jello shots!

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The only downfall to the trip is that it’s been so crowded everywhere we go. It took us 30 minutes the other night just to find parking at Broadway at the Beach! And most times, because there’s so many people using the network, my cell phone service has been spotty. Those are things I can live with though.

Well, I’m about to go ride a banana boat now. Let’s hope that today is less eventful than yesterday!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?

Myrtle Beach Vacation Pt. 1

Hello from super, sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!

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The weather has been beautiful thus far. Hot, but not a cloud in the sky!

Rewind back to Friday, my family woke up at the crack of dawn (aka 5:30am) to pack up and start the 9 hour drive from Maryland to South Carolina.

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Check out that sweet packing job.

The trip felt loooong. I got pretty bored, despite the fact that 90% of the time I was jamming out to 90’s pop music. My poor family.

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Anyway, the drive was worth it because vacation has been AWESOME so far.

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We’ve been lounging by the beach most of the day. The only time we really spend in the condo is the hour we go up for lunch.

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At night we typically go out to eat.

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And drink.

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The motto of the week (somewhat ironically) is YOLO!

Last night we went to Carolina Roadhouse, which is a restaurant I discovered last time I was at the beach just a few months ago. We enjoyed some delicious margaritas (seriously, they are the best ever).

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After dinner, we usually play mini golf.

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Adam may have gotten a hole in one on this whole, but just ask him who the overall winner was. Hint: it was me!

Marathon training in vacation mode has proved to be somewhat interesting. But I packed my running shoes and have been able to do about 6 miles in the morning before the beaches get crowded. Beach running is tougher than regular running, mainly on the calves. And the fact that I sweat just about a gallon of water out of my body just by taking my first step.

Oh well, I’m pretty psyched it’s only Monday. I still have a whole week to work on my tan…which is coming along nicely, for the record.

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Gotta go enjoy the sun!

What do you usually do on vacation?

My Travel Wish List

My family takes a vacation together every year. For as long as I can even remember we’ve spent a week (sometimes 2!) down in Myrtle Beach, SC. Even when we lived in Seattle, we would fly back just to go on our beach trip! This is one of my favorite traditions, and I hope that one day when I have a family, I can continue it. Perhaps we won’t always go to the same beach, but I like the concept of a yearly family vacation. As I gear up to head out next week, I got to thinking about the top places in the world I’d like to travel.

So here it is, my travel wish-list:

Bora Bora

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I mean, come on…need I say more? This place seriously looks unreal. After watching Couples Retreat, I vowed that I would go there (if I ever win the lottery) on my honeymoon. I’m a huge beach aficionado and this looks like the ULTIMATE. Can you imagine snorkeling in that crystal blue water? Waking up to that view? Yes, please!

Italy

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Look at me. No, really, just look at me. I am Italian through and through. One day, I would love to be able to visit the place of my ancestors, see the sights, and eat some amazing Italian food. Yep, that sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Vale, Colorado

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This might seem weird after seeing Bora Bora and Italy on the list, but I’ve never been skiing before. I KNOW, RIGHT? Hold the phone. Snowboarding, yes. Skiing, no. It’s one of my goals to learn how to ski and eventually go to Colorado to take advantage of the best slopes this country has to offer. Doesn’t it look like the perfect holiday vacation? And if I fail miserably at skiing, I’ll just hang out in the lodge and drink spiked hot chocolate. Either way, I’m still winning.

Australia/New Zealand

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I lump these two together only because I would do them both in the same trip considering they are literally on the other side of the world. I’ve always wanted to explore Australia and see Sydney, especially since Finding Nemo (I’m so cool, I know). More recently, I’ve had an itching to also hit up New Zealand. Two of my good friends have recently taken trips there and said that it’s the adventure of a lifetime! Apparently, everyone is so friendly and the vibe is really laid back, which fits in perfectly with my way of life.

London

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I’ll admit, I’ve already been to London. But what you might not know is that London was absolutely my favorite city I’ve visited. It’s just so accessible; the chunnel from Paris to London was convenient, the Tube was clean and efficient (way more so than the Metro anyway), and the train out of Kings Cross Station was simple to figure out. Plus I got to see the famous Platform 9 3/4, Harry Potter geek much? Not only that, but there’s so much history and culture in this city. Seeing the Tower Bridge, Globe Theatre, Parliament, Piccadilly Square, etc was super cool. I loved that I could get fish ‘n chips and a beer at any pub on any corner. I, obviously, could go on and on but I’ll refrain. I can’t wait to go back!

Now to work on that whole winning-the-lottery-so-I-can-pay-for-all-this thing!

Where in the world is Carmen Sandeigo your ideal destination?

Super Sweaty

Big news everyone! On Saturday morning I woke up at 6:06am WITHOUT an alarm…and didn’t even go back to sleep! Who says I can’t be a morning person? Oh, wait, I did. Anyway, I’m thankful that something in my body triggered me awake because I totally misset my alarm on Friday night. I was trying to wake up at 6am to knock out 12 miles before the predicted 105 degree temperatures set in. And guess what, I did.

This was quite possibly the slowest/worst run of my entire life. I had every intention of running this 12 miles for time, but right around mile 2 I realized that it was going to be a struggle for survival. The heat and humidity, even at 6am, made it hard to even breath. Around mile 4 I began to feel sharp twinges in my back and at mile 5-6, I was convinced my ankle was going to fall off. This happens on occasion and I think it’s a result of the numerous times I sprained and partially tore ligaments in my ankles when I played soccer and basketball.

I stopped back at my apartment after the 6 mile mark to regroup myself, filled up a water bottle and then continued on for the final 6 miles of torture. I listened to my body cues and took it easy. My back pain disappeared and when I was stretching my ankles, I felt something pop into place so that didn’t give me any further problems. Miles 7-9 were…pleasant, if you can even believe that. I knew the final 3 would be tough because the temperatures were rising RAPIDLY. And I could feel it.

EFF YOU HEAT!

Once I hit my turnaround point at mile 9, I knew I had only 2 options. Either: 1) be airlifted back to my apartment, OR 2) run back. I opted for the latter choice as I thought renting a helicopter may put a huge dent in my bank account. Maybe next time. As expected, the last 3 miles SUCKED. I walked up 2 big hills because I thought my legs would straight-up give out if I tried to run them, ouch.

Wednesday’s sweaty 8 miler was child’s play compared to Saturday’s 12 miler. I’m mildly convinced that by the end, I was running dangerously close to having 0% water left in my body. I’m typically a light/moderate sweater, so you KNOW it was a hot/rough run when I look like this at the end:

Ignore that smile on my face, I was actually anything but happy at the time (it’s all an illusion) and there literally wasn’t a dry spot on my quick-dry t-shirt. So sexy, I know. Come and get it, boys!

Anyway, 12 miles is 12 miles no matter how rough. I’m glad to have that one under my belt since (I hope) it won’t be as hot and humid on marathon day in October. Summer training is stupid.

After my 2+ hours of torture, I headed up north to visit my parents and stuff my face with ice cream and mead. Typical. We did a tour de Maryland of sorts. Our first stop was an ice creamery that my brother heard of while visiting a farmer’s market in Baltimore. It’s called South Mountain Creamery and they are the #1 stop (of 7) on the Maryland Ice Cream tour. This place was on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, but the homemade ice cream was…not to get all 90’s on you, but…DA BOMB! I had the Moo Tracks, which was a rich chocolate with peanut butter cups and real peanuts. Om nom!

Next stop was to Orchid Cellar, or more commonly known as The Place My Family Learned About MEAD! We went taste testing and learned a ton about the process of making mead. I ended up buying 2 bottles to take home with me.

Now I’m just gearing up for the week ahead. I hear that the temps are supposed to cool off into the 80’s. I can handle that! Plus, I have a ton of miles to run and lots to do before I leave for the beach next week with my family. Can’t wait!

How did you beat the heat this weekend?

A Very Merry…4th of July?

Obviously, I’m getting all of my holidays crossed. I wanted to wish everyone a “merry” 4th of July yesterday, I think I’m going to make that a thing. Regardless, happy birthday America!

Yesterday, since I had the day off from work, and they had the day off as well, I spent the day at my parent’s house. I know, I know, I spend a lot of time with my family. I started my 4th of July out right (at 7am! Ah!) with an 8-mile run around the neighborhood.

This is my first week of marathon training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I have a schedule that I’ve drawn out for myself and so far I’m sticking to it. I’ve already run 20 miles this week and let me tell you, my legs feel it! I probably should have been more consistent with my running for the past 2 months. Live and learn, right?

Anyway, after a ridiculously sweaty run, I took a breather while my dad made us pancakes for breakfast. I don’t even remember the last time I had a pancake, but they were SO good! I swear every single house on the block must have been cooking bacon at 7am when I started my run because I kept getting whiffs of the delicious scent. I think I finished my run that much faster just so that I could get home and request it. Will run for bacon! <– someone put that on a t-shirt for me, please.

After breakfast, I “assisted” my dad with changing my car’s oil. By “assisting”, I obviously mean that I played on my phone and handed him tools while he did all the dirty work. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Then, my dad got dinner in the smoker! He bought a smoker last year and we’ve been using it non-stop. He does smoked chicken, salmon, ribs, etc. But my favorite is the smoked brisket which is what we had last night. He spices it up with a marinade and then lets it sit in the smoker for hours and hours until it basically falls apart. Mmmmm, so good!

Once we got dinner started, there was more work to be done. Washing the cars! Once again, I “assisted”, meaning I was in charge of the hose and spraying the cars down while my dad did the tough scrubbing work. Washing cars is my least favorite chore of all time. My life is so hard. As my dad says, “At least we have the choice whether or not to do it. But, someone needs to do the work.” (he says this all the time) Thanks America!

The heat became too much for me to handle. So then this happened for a few hours:

They joined:

For the record, yes, that is a kiddie pool that we have on our deck. It’s huge and can easily fit 3 adults…probably even 4 if we tried! I highly recommend that every adult own a kiddie pool. Best. Idea. Ever.

Once I decided that I’d had enough of the sun, I went inside for a bit of mead tasting! My family has recently become obsessed with mead, which I definitely don’t mind. It’s a sweet honey-wine with a strong alcohol content. Trust me when I say that a small glass of this stuff packs a pretty strong punch!

After some delicious mead, dinner was finally ready! Smoked brisket, onion potatoes, and CORN ON THE COB (my favorite food EVER!…for right now).

For dessert, WATERMELON!

This was the juiciest slice of watermelon I’ve ever had. My mom bought a whole melon so I think my family will be eating the leftovers for like 3 days straight. I hope they like fruit!

The only thing missing from this holiday were the fireworks. I saw a few shows going on from the highway on my drive home, but most places around the area cancelled their shows due to the insane storms we’ve been having and the excessive heat that seriously just won’t go away. Heat is such a party pooper.

Happy 4th of July! Did you get to see any fireworks?

Erin’s Baby Shower

My older sister, Erin, is pregnant with her first child and if you missed the announcement, IT’S A BOY! This weekend, my family threw a baby shower in her honor up where my grandma lives in Pennsylvania. It was absolutely wonderful to see my extended family (whom I don’t see nearly enough) and to celebrate the mama-to-be!

I overcompensated on my lack of photography last weekend and took waaay too many photos this weekend. So, here is Erin’s baby shower…in photos.

The spread

Aren’t these plates so cute?

Balloons my mom picked out

Cake!

I couldn’t resist…

Flowers! Kinda washed out the pic 😦

My sister requested that everyone bring a book with a personalized message to the baby. This basket was full by the end. What a great idea!

My sister’s favorite appetizer!

I’ve heard that having a baby is similar to running a marathon, so obviously, we had to carbo-load

Opening presents

Roscioli cousins and Grammy!

Fam and Grammy Ros

Erin and her friend from middle-school, Nikki (who is also pregnant with TWINS!!). I think Nikki said it best, “We’ve been through everything else together, so why not this too?!”

Mi padre and Pop Pop to be!

Stop takin’ my picture!

Excited daddy-to-be!

Grammy Troxell and her granddaughters!

Part of the big ol’ Troxell clan

Grammy and her kids (minus Uncle Mark!)

The shirt says it all 🙂

This little guy is so spoiled already. I can’t wait to meet him and welcome him to our family soon!